The customer is truly King!
As much as that sounds cliché, it’s very true.
I had one experience two years ago that made me reflect on my business policies and decisions as an entrepreneur.
I was planning my husband’s fortieth birthday and I had to hire items like chairs and tables, cocktail chairs and tables, canopies, lights, mood lights, and a couple of other party rental items. I called the rental company to inform them about my order and to get costing alongside any other necessary information for the items I intended to hire. The lady on the other end of the phone told me to send an email to request for cost. Now, do not get me wrong oh…I don’t have any problem sending an email and I understand the importance of record-keeping, especially in a country like ours where some customers can be very funny. So, I told her that I would send an email after I get the costing from her so I can go back and decide based on my budget before sending the email. Madam told me that she cannot tell me any cost via phone until I send an email, that it was their company policy.
At first, I was shocked at how rigid the policy was.
So many what-ifs going through my mind.
What if I didn’t have an email?
What if I didn’t have access to the internet?
What if I was blind?
What if I was illiterate and didn’t know how to write?
Just in case you are wondering; I didn’t go ahead with that company even though they came highly recommended.
I got the items from somewhere else. I got all the information I needed, made my decision, paid, and got my items delivered.
And, yes! There was eventually documentation!
Now if I know anyone who is planning a party or wants to rent a party item, I just refer them, what the first company did was expose me to their competition.
As an entrepreneur, When I carry out a business evaluation on my processes from time to time,
One question that I ask myself is this;
“Ejiro, if you were a customer, would you buy from you?”
This has enabled me to prioritize paying proper attention to all my clients whether big or small and treating them as individuals not a number on my invoice. This is so key for me. Every customer is unique so I treat them differently. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, trust me. But the advantages are mind-blowing.
A particular client may want to place their orders by phone call instead of email while another wants to communicate only by email. Another would want to hire a generator and have me supply diesel alongside because they want a one-stop-shop kind of service, while another just wants to hire a generator and likes to buy diesel themselves.
So, understanding the persona of each of my clients has helped me make their buying journey easier, this makes them look forward to buying from me and they have now become promoters
of my business.